The Health Bill, Doctors, Patients, States and the Chamber of Commerce

The NY Times, Tuesday, March 30, 2010


A New Chance to Strengthen an Eroding Bond:

Dr. Chen tells the story of meeting a gaunt woman at a wedding who had lost almost 20 pounds in a month;  she asked the doctor about foods to help her gain weight.  Finally, Dr. Chen, after urging her to go for tests, realized that the woman had no health insurance, that there was “an elephant in the room.”

The author after speaking to the “wrangling over the health care bill”  states that “it would offer, at last, real hope for what has become a crippled, even broken relationship between patients and doctors.”, the problem being affordability,  limiting what doctors can do, the “untenable situation of balancing what you should do with what you can do” for the patient.

Dr, Chen further states that the “bill is not perfect and much work remains… but one thing is now sure:  there is finally new hope for the patient-doctor relationship.  The playing field between patients and doctors is closer to being equalized and, for the first time in our lifetimes, there is a real chance that the elephant will at last begin to trundle its way our of our exam rooms.”

The term “wrangling” has evolved from cowboy lingo. Cowboys wrangle/wrestle with steers pulling then over in order to brand them with the ranch’s brand.  Leveling or equalizing the playing field is a sports term.  It is much easier to play on a flat or level field.

The NY Times, Monday, March 29, 2010, Editorials/Letters

The Legal Assault on Health Reforms (Editorial)

“No sooner had President Obama signed comprehensive health care reform than the attorneys general of 14 states scurried to the federal courts to challenge the law.  Their claims range from far-fetched or arguable and look mostly like political posturing for the fall elections or a “Hail Mary”  pass by disgruntled conservatives who cannot accept what Congress and the president have done.”

A “Hail Mary”  pass is explained in a previous post.  It is a desperate attempt to score at the end of a game.

The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, March 31, 2010, U.S. NEWS

Business Bids to Shape Health Changes:

Chamber of Commerce Plans Effort to Challenge New Regulations and Unseat Those Who Voted for Law, by Janet Adams

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning a broad effort to blunt the health overhaul by trying to shape its regulatory language and spending heavily to unseat vulnerable Democrats who voted for it…

In a letter to board members Monday, chamber president and chief executive Thomas J. Donohue said the business lobby will seek changes to regulations to ‘minimize the potentially  harmful impacts of this bill on our members and the country.’  If regulators ‘exceed legislative mandates or try for end-runs around the lawful rule-making process,’ he wrote, the chamber ‘will take legal action.”

An end-run is usually an American football term when the player runs around the line to advance the ball and team to the goal.  Most of the idioms above are found in (Go to the index for the page and explanation.)

Doctors, health professionals want what’s best for their patients. One would suppose businesses would, too.


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